The spring sports season may be a few weeks off, but there’s plenty of news for and about local athletes.
An East Hampton Soccer Stars U-17 boys soccer team comprising East Hampton High varsity and junior varsity players and overseen by Martin Gutierrez, a former Red Bulls coach, recently won a large regional tournament in Miami. Cristian Candemir, a 28-year-old Montauker, was to have competed this week in the world Strongman championships in Columbus, Ohio, and, at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter, junior and senior lifeguard training has gotten underway.
Training, evaluating, and testing for prospective junior (9-through-15-year-old) lifeguards began at the Y on Sunday, and is to continue there on succeeding Sundays afternoons through June 18. “New junior lifeguard trainees and returning junior lifeguards must pass a pool swim test to be in our summer program,” a flier recently distributed by John Ryan Jr. chief of the town’s lifeguards, says. Lifeguard trainees who are at least 15 also began Sunday sessions at the Y this week. A still-water lifeguard certification course for those who are at least 15 is to be given at the Y’s pool and at Albert’s Landing Beach in Amagansett from April 16 through June 15.
Registration for all of the above is being handled through the Recreation Department link at ehamptonny.gov.
In related news, Craig Brierley, who coaches East Hampton High’s boys swimming team, announced this week that the following have been named to the all-league team: Nicky Badilla, Rock Hamada, Tenzin Tamang, and Owen Robbins in the 200 medley relay; Tamang in the 100 butterfly; Liam Knight in the 100 freestyle; Luke Tarbet, Knight, Emmet McCormac, and Tamang in the 200 freestyle relay; Badilla in the 100 backstroke, and Knight, Robins, Tarbet, and Badilla in the 400 freestyle relay.
Turning to soccer, Gutierrez said during a futsal practice at the Sportime Arena in Amagansett the other night that his U-17 team had gone 3-0-1 in the Weston Cup and Showcase in Miami recently, defeating two teams from the Miami area and one from Louisiana. “There were teams there from all over,” Gutierrez said.
East Hampton defeated Atletico de Madrid of Miami 3-0 in one meeting and played to a 2-2 tie with that team in another game. The locals also defeated a team from Weston, Fla., 2-0, and bested the Louisiana entry 2-1 in the final behind goals by Eric Armijos and Juan Salcedo. Armijos finished the tourney with three goals. Salcedo and John Bustamente each had two.
Gutierrez, whose charges have played in tournaments in Ecuador, Colombia, and the Netherlands as well, took the following with him to Miami: Jonathan Armijos, the team’s captain, Kevin Hilario, Chris Guallpa, Nico Guerrero, Kevin Lucero, Alex Farez, John Valencia, Dylan Howell, Yandel Parra, Xavier Munoz, Milton Chicas, Rolando Bonilla, Yony Benitez, Randy Japa, and Yohnny Gonzalez.
“Winning that tournament was a big step,” Gutierrez said. “All these players will be with Don McGovern,” East Hampton High’s boys soccer coach, “in the fall. It’s a fantastic team.”
As for Candemir, who works as a barista at Starbucks in East Hampton, qualifying for the Arnold Strongman lightweight (175-pound and under) competition had been a dream of his for seven years, ever since the boyfriend of a female cousin of his in Houston introduced him to the equipment used in the various Strongman events. The sport, he said, is very popular in Texas.
“No, there’s no posing,” Candemir said during a telephone conversation the day before the competition at
the Greater Columbus Convention Center was to begin. “There’s a great deal of athleticism involved. . . . You pull trucks, lift barn timbers, heavy concrete stones. . . .”
“I was never athletic as a kid — I was in theater when I was at East Hampton High School” — he graduated in 2012 — “but I got tired of living a sedentary lifestyle, and so turned to fitness. . . . It’s been a lifetime goal of mine to qualify for the world championships. I tried to in national championships in 2018 in St. Louis, and in 2019, in Quad Cities, but I didn’t place. In my third try, last October, in Erie, Pennsylvania, I qualified.
“This will be my 19th Strongman competition in seven years,” said Candemir, who has worked out for the past seven years at Mike Bahel’s Body Tech fitness studio in the Montauk Playhouse, and at Squats and Science in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.